Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!!

No pictures yet today...I plan on posting some updates, quilt finishes and other misc. pictures this weekend. Just wanted to wish all my new-found friends a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR! May 2011 bring you peace, happiness and lots of fibers & fabric!

Thanks for being my "follower" - I love to read comments and visiting stitching/quilting blogs...

Sherry :-)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A few more ornaments

I had some more of my favorites I had to show for updates on everything else, see the post just previous this one - this is just ornaments on the tree. The mitten to the left is a Mill Hill kit from a couple years ago - it was a quick stitch.

This snow guy - his nose sticks out real far and I loved his tie. It too, a quick stitch from many years ago. I don't remember the designer since it was so long ago.
This silk ribbon stocking was from an ornament exchange years ago with the local EGA chapter. Unfortunately, I don't know the pattern for this one either but it's beautiful and one of my top favorites!

The knitted mitten is store bought - but I love that it fits perfectly in my tree of hand painted, hand stitched, mostly hand made ornaments!

Another of my mom's hand painted - I received this one the same year as the star in the previous post - but this has the church! Such an important part of this season for my son and I (although he may not agree at this point of his life)! He loves the Matrix Youth Group, but not so much the mass, itself. At least he stays involved and does continue with service projects and friends!

This last ornament is from my childhood. My Grandma was quite the knitter and did quite a bit of needlepoint on canvas - she always did up an ornament to give each of us (her children and grandchildren) with $$ for Christmas each year - this is one of mine that still is a top ornament. I think it's about 40 years old!!
I didn't take a pic of the candy cane I colored in kindergarten, laminated as a young adult - it hangs next to the same ornament my son made in kindergarten. The star on the top of our tree was my Great Grandparents - my Dad remembered it on their tree and I remember it on mine as a child. Don't you think decorating the tree brings back so many memories (hopefully all good) and is such a great chance to pass the history of your family on to your children!
Enjoy! Thanks for stopping by (again)!

Sherry :0)

So much ... settle in! Merry Christmas!

I know - some of you may have thought I fell off the holiday truck and was stuck in the city of "I'll never get it all done". Well, I have done quite a bit (like most everyone) in the past couple weeks. So - get your reading glasses out, settle in and here's a lengthy update - some stitching and some not....
Finished; yes, pieced, quilted, bound and now wrapped. I did a bit of wrapping tonight and this is one of them - my nephew is a University of Michigan fan - not necessarily the sport part, but the school part. He is a freshman in high school and this is where he would like to attend once graduated. It is his turn to get a lap quilt from Aunt Sherry (and family). Hope he likes it!
So have you felt like this? Cody was tired - he's allowed on the couch in the basement, a.k.a. the wrapping center these days. He was watching me walk back and forth, organize and make lists upon lists last week - not to mention watching the laundry efforts happening at the same time.

So if you're a regular follower (and welcome, by the way to my new followers - I am looking forward to seeing what Jodie picks as her 15 projects now that she's on break from school) if you're a regular follower, you will remember I was excited to go out to dinner with my group of bestest friends around - we went the first week of December. I had veal piccata, a wonderful salad with arugula and mandarin oranges and tiramisu for dessert - but even with as delicious as the food always is, the friendship and company is 1,000 times better. We draw names each year and here is what Peg gifted me - I am so lucky!! These two pin cushions are tiny, tiny pieces. Peg had a quilt from this fabric earlier this year that I admired. I believe it's by Moda, French General...I think. Aren't they sweet!

If you know me at all, you know I love me some Blackbird Designs. I have this book and loved this pincushion - Peg is an awesome stitcher and finisher - I love this one too.

There are a few (okay, more than a few) things I love & collect - snowmen, chocolate, stitching, reading/books - and Halloween. So here is a really cool banner Peg stitched and then "framed with fabric and buttons. The rod across the top is an actual stick, from her yard. It will look great above the mantle this next Halloween. She also included some chocolate for me - YUM!

When it was my turn to give my gift, guess who I had! Last year I drew - Peg! It's funny, we have had that happen several times where people have each other. I made Peg a Shepherd's Bush pin cushion with silk ribbon along the edges. Now I am not a very confident finisher, but this finish was not that difficult. The other item I made is a scissors case with scissors - it's a Shakespeare's Peddler pattern. It was a fun stitch and I did get it together.

I also gave her the cookbook from The Attic (in Arizona), some food items and sweets and a candle.

The gifts the others exchanged included quilt, table toppers, stitched pictures, hand stitched/crazy quilted santa, lots of goodies and talent abound. Before we left, we drew names...hmm, another project already being planned out in my thoughts!
I won a giveaway I talked about a couple posts back. Thanks Susan! It's a project bag -with a zipper - something I don't really do much of in my sewing! It already has a project stashed inside. I love being a winner - don't you?

Here are some pics of my tree, favorite ornaments and the cookie trays after the marathon baking session the past couple days. Our tree went up last Sunday during our first snowstorm of the season (more on that in a bit).

The little boy and lamb is hand painted by my mom - the year I picked this one as one of my ornaments, my son was little...I love this one. The silk ribbon heart was made by Hospice - my sister sent it to me from the hospice center who helped us through my dad's death a few years (wow, few...) ago. As you can seen in my banner posting (my tree last year), it always has a prominent place on tree!

The feather tree ornament I made a couple years ago - it's one of my favorites that I have stitched. Yes, that is a stick on our tree; when my son was about 7 or 8, his Grandma asked him what he wanted for Christmas - he replied a stick, joking of course. So that year in his package (I think he received a Harry Potter book and $$ from Grandma & Grandpa), he got a stick - it has been on the tree each year ever since. I am so glad my son has an awesome sense of humor and what a story that will be to tell his kids when I pass the stick on to them! The cookies are baked (or not in the case of the no-bakes), frosted and gift plates are done - so now we can gobble up the rest over the next week or two. The past couple years I have cut way back on what we (or dare I say, I bake). My husband makes the no-bakes each year - no matter what I do, I can't get that recipe to work out; they either are hard as can be or runny. This year he made the no-bakes, I baked peanut butter kiss, cherry-chocolate shortbread and sugar cutouts and then my husband and I frosted them last night. We used to do the piped frosting and did very elaborate cookies - not so much - they taste the same...maybe next year I will do the piped again.

The snowstorm last week left snow on the ground and it hasn't been above about 25*F since. I love the cold weather and snow. It certainly has helped inspiring me to get a move on with the holiday prep. I am now done with about everything except wrapping. I did some of that tonight and hope to finish the Christmas Eve wrapping (my mom, siblings and their families) tomorrow night. Then some elves have got to get busy on the wrapping of presents for my husband, and Santa has a bit to do too! I have the gifts mailed that needed to be - cards are all mailed (early for me)!!, baking done, decorating done as much as it's gonna be. I have some food prep to do, but not until Wednesday or Thursday. I have to stop by the grocery to pick up fruit and bread...then it's relax and enjoy. My sister is bringing lemon drop martini fixings Christmas Eve - they are so good.

If I don't post before - have a Merry Christmas. I hope the Hanukkah holiday was awesome. I am looking forward to relaxing with my sisters and their families and my mom. Of course, can't wait until Santa visits this house - I think my son will be very surprised. John and I are excited about his main gift. I am really looking forward to Midnight Mass this year - we missed last year and it felt like a vital part of the Christmas holiday was missing. Count your blessings all, I am very blessed in so many parts of life and am truly thankful!
Peace to all,

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Mostly stitching update!!

Well, I promised I would show some status on a couple of the WIP projects that are in the front of the line. I couldn't get any good pictures of my BBD houses, it's been pretty cloudy here the past couple days - and cold! I love snow and winter, but yesterday I couldn't warm up for nothing! Anyway, I have worked on my La-D-Da Pumpkins Three quite a bit, when stitching with my friends the couple Mondays's easy, no color changes...loving this one - doing Crescent Colors Balsam Fir on a brown linen. Sorry for the shadow on the bottom of the first picture. Here's my progress! I did cut it a little close to the edge, good thing I am making a pillow out of this one.

I also received this great recipe book. The Attic (needlework shop out of Arizona I want to visit someday - long way from Michigan) does a breast cancer fund raiser...this book was part of it. They had an auction a couple weekends ago and I think I read they raised over $17,000. This cookbook was part of it - they took recipes from designers and customers - of which I have two that were selected! There's also some patterns in the front. Taking it to work with me tomorrow for lunchtime reading.
I put the binding on the UofM quilt for my nephew about a week ago - now I have to fold it to the back and hand stitch the binding. I have until Christmas but I sure would like to knock it out this week.
The other quilt is one I did for my husband. I bought the fabric about three or four years ago. I cut it out this summer and blogged about it earlier this year. Then pieced it off and on, got it quilted a couple months ago...sewed the binding on it this evening - want to knock this one out this week too! He will be really happy to have it now that cold has set in; it's flannel.

Last but not least, this is the latest of the friendship samplers I have been working on - did post on 9/15 (mine), post on 10/3 (Roz's)...this is Ginger's. I neglected (a.k.a. forgot) to get a pic of Sally's - I worked on and passed it on while my back issues were still in the forefront. I have added a bit since mine and Roz's...My part is the rhodes hearts, and three rows under the hearts.
So it's almost the first of much to do and it always seems, not much time. Cards, presents, decorating, cookies...and then there's the things I want to do - stitching, reading, relaxing... Isn't it funny, it always gets done.
One thing I am looking very forward to is the dinner with my buddies - I will have more to post after that. We draw names each year, I think mine is a surprise and I don't know if she reads my blog, so I have to keep it a secret!
I did get one area of decorating done - my blog template. The banner picture is my tree last year. I wasn't really in the holiday mood, so we put up only one tree and our (my) favorite ornaments are on it. I usually only put handmade (stitched or painted - my mom is an artist) on this small tree and then all the ornaments on the bigger tree. The tiny tree to the left was crafted, decorated and trimmed by my Dad while he was recovering from surgery the year before he died. It's always my special tree, I think of him every single time I look at it and wish he was still here. I think that was part of the funk I was in last year (it had been a few years without Dad). Gotta keep that feeling away this year! This is the last year my son is still my responsibility and a "child" (lots of laughing now as I know just because he's 18 next year, he will not be an adult - although talk with him about that an it's a much different story). Anyway...
Here's to making your last two days of November productive, happy and hope you find something each day to make you smile! I know I will!!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Whoo Hoo - I won a giveaway

So here I sit in my chair this a.m., catching up on blogs, emails, etc. and reading along I clicked on Susan's "Afford your Passion" blog as I went up my blogroll (yes, I always go in order) and there is my name. I won her giveaway - I selected the red bag!

Thanks Susan....will update on stitching, as promised, later this weekend!

Again, whoo hoo...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone - I am so thankful for my family, my dear friends, my health (and my loved one's health), my job and my new found friends in blogworld! Take time out of today to do what you enjoy, with whom you like to hang with!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Stitch updates, birthday goodies and turkey wishes!!

Hey everyone! Hope you are doing well and smiling lots! I am doing better with my back/sciatic issues - therapy is working thus far.

Well I guess I will give you a stitching update first, so that you can "check out" of this post if you don't want to "listen" to the blah, blah, blah part...

Back when I began writing this blog, I had done a quilt for my niece for Christmas and posted a pic. This is the pillow I made to match - her birthday is coming up and I will give her this with a little cash. I think she'll like it!

I have been working on some items I received for Christmas last year. I am in an gift exchange with my friends (a.k.a. my stitching friends - that's what the guys I live with call them -- and that would be my husband and son...but I am off subject)! Anyway - last year Pam had my name. Her husband is a very talented woodworker - I received a stitching chest - two drawers and four of the plastic bobbin holder/project holder boxes. In the drawers were thread holders (also made by her husband), chocolate and a BBD pin cushion - stitched. In the plastic project holders were some fat quarters and three different projects. Pictured here are two of the projects I have finished in the last couple weeks.
Fright Night is a Lizzie & Kate, JBW Designs (I think) is A Very Merry Autumn.

I started Pumpkins Three two weeks ago when I was hanging with my buds - I love this pattern and it's great for when chatting it up - all one color. It's a La-D-Da pattern.

I worked on it today - when stitching with the group again...I have this pumpkin finished; I stitched the one next to it three different times (not the whole way, mind you) but one section THREE times...not a good counting day - gonna put some time into it again tonight. So check back in the next few days - I hope to give you updated pictures on this, the two houses from BBD Remember Me series and pics of the friendship samplers I've had in my hands (there are 13 of us stitching on each other's )...

Okay - on to the birthday goodies I received from my friends. I even got another today - love those birthdays that keep on going!

Received these cute pumpkin salt & pepper shakers, quilting patterns. Vera Bradley pencils - with sharpener...the pencils fit in the pad of paper. How cleaver!

This layer cake is what I received today - sooo cute! Halloween colors are some of my very favs!

Isn't this box so pretty! (This is the top in the right of the pic) I am using it as a catch-all for threads, ribbons, etc. which need to be put away; instead of having them laying all around the sewing studio!

The little bag on the far left, a beautiful fabric "basket" - now sitting next to the sewing machine, holding strips for the next gadget bag I have ready to make. I received some body butter, a scrunchie wash thingy for the shower, "S" stickers - for SHERRY, of course, note books, journals, chocolate

More Halloween goodies - a tray, a pin (to die for cute, feathery witchie pin, cool bucket (now holding all my new little notebooks and journals). I also received cool dish towels and wash rags - already on the sink and counter when I took the pictures - Halloween towels and a gift certificate for my LNS. Awesome!!! Birthday cake was really, really yummy too - chocolate with a mocha type frosting!

Son's school conferences went well. These were the final of two left to do. It has been a huge struggle for him and we both will be glad when he can move on to what he really wants to do!

In case my update post doesn't come before Thursday - Happy Turkey Day to all my U.S.A. readers!! I have to work the day after, but am looking most forward to having Thanksgiving off - pumpkin pie, turkey, dressing. Enjoy!

Stitch, sew, read, do something that makes you happy!


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Time To Catch Up (long and pic heavy)!!

Hey everyone! I'm back, up and about with the living... I had such good intentions, had pictures waiting on the camera to be transferred to the computer to WOW you all with my 'inspired by other blogs' endless Halloween decorations - so better late than never, I guess. Here are just a few of my autumn-Halloween decorations. Here is a bench with different items - stitched, sewn, bought. I love the ghost bear - he's a Ty bear I think my son found last year and we just had to have it for our Halloween party on the bench.

The annual pumpkin carving happened the Friday before Halloween - my mom, my sisters and their husbands, plus the seven kids (6 nieces & nephews plus my son) were together - we eat chili, candy corn and doughnuts (after we tie them to a string and have the kids get a bite without their hands - quite interesting now that most the kids are older - and of course, powdered sugar is a must), drink cider and carve pumpkins. It just wouldn't be Halloween without that party! We know that time is limited with ALL being there - the oldest of the kiddos is turning 18 this month, mine close behind just turing 17 this summer. One missing in the photo - not sure how that happened...
The pumpkin with the big hole in it is my son's from that party...he was doing a "DC" logo as that is the company where he is coveting stereo equipment...My son decided to go begging this year and the rule in our large sub (I usually get well over 400 beggars) is that you have to have a costume - age not really an issue. He and his friends (pictured in an earlier blog at homecoming - those five pal around often) decided to go out - so out went a chicken, a pumpkin, a cow girl, a bunny and my son - pictured above, as a fairy princess - hence the tiara and wings. They had a blast and I am glad he has such good friends - they are all seniors or just graduated last year (one) and are having the such a good year.

These are some of the other decorations I put around the chateau for Halloween - I have quite a bit of stitching around - and then there's the candles in houses that spin little ghosts at the top. My good friend Paulette stitched me a table topper a couple years ago for Christmas - doesn't it look fantastic with the Halloween candle centered among the bats?!
Okay - Halloween is over - time to move the weekend my sciatic nerve and back issues began, I was supposed to go away to a stitching camp that my LNS sponsors. I actually contemplated dragging my sorry butt there - but I was miserable, couldn't sit more than about 15 seconds without pain. I was to spend the weekend with Mary (I've written about her before)
well she went on without me (as I really wanted her to do). There are people who go year after year; this is one of the two times a year we get together. There's always lots of laughs, food, stitching, sleeplessness and it truly is a relaxing weekend that I count the days down when it's close. Needless to say, I was seriously bummed, but slept most of the three days I was away from work and then the weekend I was to be gone. But Mary, bless her heart, brought me my goodie bag and picked up the couple items I just had to have my LNS had set aside for me. This box and fibers were part of the goodie bag - the fibers are named for the weekend and are really nice browns and coordinating colors. The box has a breast cancer pattern with it, it is pinkish in color and very cool.
The next photo is what my buddy picked up for me (and what my LNS sent later). Thanks Mary, for getting my stuff and visiting me on your way home...still seriously bummed. But there's always the spring!

Early in October the sampler guild I belong to celebrated 10 years! So for the 10 year anniversary, we had a party and gifts.

This was in a goodie bag...pictured below. The item in the top (with "samplers" on it) is really cool - in the same color as the fabric, eyelet letters spell out A-B-C, so it's kind of shadowed.

This cool sunflower bag held the box (and all the stuff inside) plus the first picture of gifties! This box is made to hold all these items - as featured in the picture of the example (with the scissors and things all tucked away) and the stitched piece (not done, to be done by each of us) is for the top of the box. I will personalize it and change a bit, I imagine; but what a cool anniversary item.

I had a couple more bags ready for two more friends birthday - Heather and Ginger received these...a bit late, but I look at it that just spreads the birthday out a little and makes it last a little longer. The color scheme on the right is perfect for me and I really had a hard time giving it up.

Well, if I want to stitch at all tonight, I should get on with it. I have probably bored you all to tears. It has been great to catch up (although it's take a bit of time) with the blogs I read regularly. Thanks for those who sent well wishes on my feeling better. And did you notice - I have over 50 followers now! How cool - could there be a giveaway in the future - me thinks so!
Next post will show some stitching progress as I've had needle to thread for just a couple short nights planted in the chair and last Monday with my friends. I also will share with you what those wonderful, fabulous friends gave me for the birthday that passed earlier this month too. I am getting closer and closer to that five-O mark and with each passing year am so glad for my health, my family and my friends. The gals I pal around with (aka - stitching friends) go way beyond our common love of stitching and are with me through good and bad, thick and thin...they are responsible for some of my favorite "down-time" laughs. Isn't it wonderful to have awesome, talented friends who love you just for you, no expectations, no issues - different from family since there is the "have to do" things with family and don't get me wrong, I love my family and my house...but to spend time with the women I hang with, is truly a necessity as much as it is a blessing.
Okay, wrapping up! Have a great week - I will post more pics and progress next time (hopefully soon). School conferences this week - last one of two for me! Yippee.
Stitch smiling, sew happy and laugh!!
Sherry :0)

Monday, November 1, 2010


So I didn't fall off the face of the earth, just landed my butt on the couch/bed for a couple weeks. I don't have any updates in the stitching world - haven't had a needle in my hand for that couple weeks. I had a sciatic nerve problem about a year and a half ago - it flaired up almost two weeks ago and this was worse than the original problem. Bummer - not only could I not sit or drive, I missed three days of work, had to post-pone a lunch with my friend, Pam and didn't get to go away for my stitching get-away (and I had my choice of two to attend that weekend)! But I am on the mend and not quite 100% yet - hence the short post. I am glad it wasn't something major and I know I'm lucky to be relatively healthy, but this was a pain in more ways than one!

Hope everyone had a HAPPY HALLOWEEN!! Those kiddies were so cute - and the older kids were so clever!

Hopefully there will be some great progress soon! I hope to catch up with everyone's blog in the next week or two...

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Busy Couple Weeks - Whew!! (warning again - picture heavy)

So I guess when you don't update weekly, the post can be a little picture heavy and cumbersome with information. With that in mind, I will put in the quilting/stitching updates first in case you really don't care or wish to read about what else is happening here...gasp! Hard to believe people wouldn't want to be all in the know (huge amounts of sarcasm in this sentence)!!

I am in a friendship sampler/round robin project group with my great friends. This was the first month passing around - here is what I did on Roz' I know, you'll see the same design each time but the colors will vary!!

Don't you just love this? Halloween is second only to Christmas in my book and I had to do this freebie!! It's from blog, plain & fancy merchant - the August 25th post. I've seen it finished on a few other blogs and my bff Mary (no blog) finished it...gave me the bottom half of her linen (which the color is almost true in this photo) it. I am going to attempt finishing it with wool as done in Vonna's tutorial...wish me luck!

Last weekend I dropped off my nephew's quilt (for Christmas) to my LQS - had some scraps of his choice of fabric and his birthday is today - so I decided to make a coordinating pillow. I think I will do that with each of their quilts...uses up fabric I may not use otherwise - especially when it's this specific. He loves UofM and after high school, I would think he will attend school husband wasn't wild about this one - Notre Dame fan that he is - LOL!! Was good practice for matching corners and I don't think I did that bad!

I bought the fabric yesterday for one of my niece's quilt - perhaps I will get two for Cmas this year and then I will only have one niece left. How did this start, you may wonder...I probably posted it at the very beginning of my blogging earlier this year...I made a bug jar quilt for DS and it was over 10 years the making. I had the quilter do a dragonfly pattern and one of my nephews loved it - so with my scraps I made him a random square quilt and found backing on sale (but I did blow the limit we have on the kids) and he loved it. Well, you can't make one a quilt and not the others, so I did a black/white with pink for my niece last year...that brings us to the one mentioned above....I will put my pics of the beautiful (and stunning) fabrics once I drag the camera up to the sewing studio!! (sounds so much better than sewing room...or glorified guest room - although nary a guest have ever slept there).

It was homecoming week here at DS's high school! This year he decided to really get into it. He dressed up for a couple of the spirit days (hasn't done that since elementary school); he said since he's a senior, he really had to do it right. He went to his first dance - never really was interested in it. He has quite a few friend-girls (not girlfriends) and they all went as a group...he went out to dinner with a small part of the group. Don't they look great?

Driving home from the "photo shoot" last night, I saw several other groups of kids, dressed in their finest, heading to dance the night away. That's my ds to the far right! Can't believe he's here in his senior year already most days - it's been a long, hard road and I am so proud of his perseverance!

The other day was a perfect autumn day here in Michigan!! I love this time of year, my very favorite. This is the sky - in a couple weeks that tree should be more yellow - but if it's too windy before it turns, it will have naked branches!

Aren't these raspberries absolutely beautiful - they were delicious too! DH and I went apple picking a week was a little chilly, nice bite to the air when we arrived at the orchard at 8 with all the "serious" pickers - it becomes a family outing a little later and was packed when we left. In less than one hour, we had picked the apples we wanted and headed over to the raspberry bushes. Picked about two pounds and ate them, just as nature made them...only ds and I like them - dh doesn't like the seeds...had a few with vanilla ice cream, but the rest were just popped in the mouth. YUM!!
The main reason we went to the orchard (an orchard which I have picked apples ALL my life - except when I was away at college) was for the yummy apples. We picked Empire, a couple Golden Delicious, Mitsu and Northern Spy (for pies, of course). I currently have a variety of them up in my banner header picture...and here's another beautiful shot. Don't you think nature makes beautiful photos!

I made a couple pies - one for my husband to take to my Grandpa (still fishing and hunting and living alone in his nineties)...and the other for us to enjoy at home. DH has gone bow hunting for a day or two - hope it's nice there today! Woke up to 47* this a.m. heat in the house yet made for cold toes! My furnace doesn't work until November 1st - house rule...LOL!
We still have Northern Spy apples left - not quite what we eat, just as God made I may make some applesauce. DS loves homemade applesauce in the winter...
Well, I must get to some fun things now - you know, laundry, dishes, uncovering the tomatoes I protected from the maybe spotty frost that didn't happen, but rather be save than sorry. I am still "harvesting" tomatoes and don't want to give up the fresh taste!

So until next post, I will let you get on with your life - thanks for checking in...and welcome to new followers, thanks for coming back to the (dare I say) old followers. Enjoy your Sunday and the rest of your week!!
Do what makes you happy - stitch, sew, read, smile!!